Juana (34), her husband René (35) and their four children Smiley (12), Neidy (11), Aner (9), and Julia (7) are the proud owners of a new Hybrid House in the community of Chipó, San Lucas Antonio Palopó, Sololá. René works in agriculture, while Juana stays home taking care of the children and running a small grocery store in the front of their property.
Our new Hybrid House solution is a two-room home built with a mix of traditional materials: adobe blocks, cement blocks, and wood. This solution is partially subsidized which means that beneficiary families are asked to contribute towards the cost of materials and provide labor such as preparing adobe blocks, among other tasks.
Before partnering with Home for a Home and Habitat Guatemala, Juana and her family used to live in a small house built out of adobe blocks and wood, which now serves as the kitchen. It was a small room, with two beds for the entire family. “We were living in only one room; the space was very small. It was uncomfortable, especially for my children. The house was very warm.” says Juana.
When asked how they feel about their new home, Juana answers, “I feel happy and very content, because now we have more space! We have split our family. Also, the house is cooler so we no longer have to endure the heat!”
Juana explains that their lives have improved greatly with this new home because they no longer suffer from the cold during rainy season and heat during the summer. They do not worry about getting respiratory diseases, or having fleas or any other bugs that bothered them because of the dirt floor.
In the future, the family would like to add tiles floor to the house, and also are thinking about painting the wood.
As part of the Hybrid House Programs, families also receive a latrine, water filter and a smokeless stove. This helps them improve their health by giving them adequate access to proper sanitation and a smoke-free environment. Juana used to cook on a stove that was in poor condition, causing her red eyes and respiratory diseases. “My new stove is completely different! It consumes less wood, we no longer have to buy it so often, and the best part is that there is no more smoke inside my kitchen!” says Juana. The family has also felt a difference with their water filter. Before they had to boil water and sometimes drank it directly form the sink, causing them pain from intestinal diseases. Now, it is easier and safer to drink potable water from the filter.
When asked which is her favorite part of the house, she smiles and answers; “Everything! We enjoy resting and listening to music with the children. They now have their own space where they do their homework without fighting.
Julia finishes by sharing a message with the donors, “Thank you to each one of you for taking a notice in us and for supporting my family. We will forever be grateful with you for this gift. I pray to God for you and wish you many blessings in your path. We might not be able to pay you back, but God will.”